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Subpoena problem reveals grand jury investigation

Marlin audit press conference
Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 21:24:38-05

MARLIN, TX — A bombshell agreement in Falls County court Friday revealed a new grand jury investigation into financial irregularities in Marlin, first reported on 25 News last fall.

Marlin now has two, parallel investigations centered on the Marlin missing money case, one city and one county. A dispute over sharing information brought both sides to court Friday.

Marlin City Manager Cedric Davis brought out the big guns in his fight to stay out of grand jury testimony.

"Do I think we helped clear the air today? I think we did," said Former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Morris Overstreet, who settled the dispute with District Attorney Katherine "Jody" Gilliam over her subpoena by giving her the publicly available paperwork she asked for.

"In my 30 year career in law enforcement, I've never dodged a subpoena," explained Davis.

Davis said he didn't appear before a grand jury investigating possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from Marlin on the advice of the city attorney and instead went to cancer treatment.

The district ttorney said 25 News' reporting on Marlin's money matters sparked her investigation

"I've seen what you've put on TV, okay? And we're following up," said DA Gilliam.

But with a forensic audit far from over, the City would rather the DA "butt out."

”No one has been charged. No one is a suspect. We're trying to see what was happening,” said Deandrea Petty, Marlin City Attorney.

In the end, Gilliam got what she wanted, but not testimony from Davis. Not yet anyway.

"Sometimes, coming to the courthouse is the only way the parties can really be forced to get together and talk openly and ask questions of each other," said Overstreet.

The prosecutor says she reserves the right to ask for more information as her investigation widens, something the mayor says she'll watch.

"What's important is the protection of the people here in Marlin and protection of their money." said the mayor.